Dec 18 | 2023

How to build empathy in a UX team

by Dave Robertson

One of the most important things to do when managing any kind of team (but especially a creative one) is to create a culture of safety and security within that team. Members need to feel like they are supported and their contribution is valued, otherwise output tends to suffer. We also want to make sure that as much as possible, our staff enjoy themselves at work because life outside can be demanding and unpredictable. (more…)

Nov 15 | 2023

Punch cards – or “We have it so easy now!”

by Dave Robertson
punch card close up

I came across an interesting article on my travels, and as I type this blog post on a tiny, ultra portable laptop in a cafe, thought about just how hard HCI (human-computer interaction) used to be. Nowadays, we have mature and flexible interfaces, and crucially, forgiving inputs which are happy to take data that isn’t 100% correct, and sometimes suggest corrections. But the 1970s, things were primitive and unforgiving. The author mentions that they once spent 6 hours debugging code only to notice that the number 1 and capital letter I had been confused. It’s a long but interesting read on how things used to be: Computational Complexity article on Punch Cards (more…)

Mar 7 | 2021

Service design: the importance of addressing the need

by Dave Robertson

Too much of the time, as designers, we see ourselves as problem solvers above all else. It’s fun to be a problem solver – it can be intoxicating sometimes, to be able to take skills that you have, apply them efficiently, and solve a problem. And it’s even better if you can help people at the same time.

But problem solving is more than just shifting into first gear and moving off. It’s about thinking about the journey first, deciding on the best route and crucially, whether the destination is the one that is worth visiting. (more…)

Feb 14 | 2021

Weird UI: Microsoft OneDrive

by Dave Robertson
Padlocked gate

I was sent a link to a document the other day and got faced with this message when the page loaded. It effectively says “You’re not on the list, but you can come in anyway”. (more…)

Feb 8 | 2021

UX Dark Pattern of the Week: Amazon

by Dave Robertson

This story actually broke a few weeks ago, but it only came to my attention as I was researching for something to write on this topic. Amazon’s in hot water, it seems, with authorities in both Europe and the US about how difficult it is to cancel its Prime service (article link). The full report by the Norwegian Consumer Council makes for some particularly interesting reading.

This doesn’t come as a particular surprise to me, because it’s clear that Prime growth is one of Amazon’s major objectives, and has been for a while. (more…)

Feb 2 | 2021

UX Dark Pattern of the Week: Space NK

by Dave Robertson

There are of course many ways that we can help a user make the right decision when making a choice within a website or app, but something I’ve been following over the last few years is a concept called ‘Dark Patterns’; that is, UX patterns that are intended to deceive the user, rather than help them make an informed decision. I find these interesting because they’re sort of the ‘dark side’ of UX and web design. We tend to come at most website interactions trusting, especially if it’s a big brand retailer. But these patterns are actually there to manipulate and catch us out. I feel like it’s worth calling them out so that there’s more awareness of what’s going on, and users can make the decision that’s right for them, rather than the retailer.

This week’s dark pattern comes to us courtesy of high end cosmetics and perfume retailer SpaceNK, and this interaction happens at checkout. (more…)

Jan 17 | 2021

Free training is now available

by Dave Robertson

I run quite a lot of training in my current role, and it’s something that I enjoy. I like being able to help people understand complex topics, and I find it’s something that helps me learn too. So I decided to put some free training together to help those interested in design topics of all kinds.

The plan is to cover UX & UI to start with, and branch out into HTML and design tools later on. You can see below the first three sessions –

  • UI vs UX Design: Beginner’s Basics
  • UI Design for beginners
  • UX Design for beginners

You can find them in the training section here.

Keen on any feedback you might have – feel free to send here.

Dec 31 | 2020

New Website

by Dave Robertson
website code

Right, well it’s been a while but here we are with a brand new website. I say brand new, but technically it’s a rebuild of the static site which I put together earlier in the year. This new improved version is now running on WordPress, which means I can join the blogging revolution about 20 years late. It also means I can content-manage the site properly, because updating 24 individual HTML files when you need to add a new menu item is a bit of a pain…

Anyway, I thought it’d be worth giving a bit of info on the new site, so you can get an idea of how I’ve built it. (more…)

© Dave Robertson 2024 Hand-built with VS Code, Bootstrap and WordPress Acknowledgements